Content used to be king, then along came engagement and people always asked the questions about return on investment. We know advertising does not work like it did in the ’70s but somehow people still believe the nonsense they learn when they study marketing. Eventually, people started realising that unless you track actual sales you are just wasting time.
Along came social media and again we used it as another advertising platform, just another way to spam people. When companies realised they could not effectively use the social media platforms they went back to the brand ambassador idea, and called the people responsible for delivering content ‘Influencers’.
Influencer marketing has been effective to a point and companies continue to find ways to use influencers to get their message to the masses.
I have a saying ‘most people think, but few people think about what they think about when they think’. I ask you to think about the actual reason why influencer marketing works. Is it not because you have a relationship with your followers/prospective followers?
Now if you are paid to nurture the relationship with your followers on behalf of brands and companies, you are doing more than just the job of brand ambassador. You could be potentially setting up sales for the company and yet you are being compensated as an influencer.
I believe, as influencers, we are thinking and connecting like marketers, when in fact we could be getting better results for our clients and ourselves if we started working as salespeople, and taking our followers from prospect to actually closing the sale.
I know this is going to sound like a foreign concept to many of you and I have probably disrupted you already. Let me give you a real example of a company that I am working with so that you can understand how this idea comes together.
Firstly I had to ask myself ‘What are my followers looking for?’ The simple answer is money, and then following on that it would be solutions to their problems. That after all is what entrepreneurship is about. So instead of just thinking of yourself as an influencer or marketer, start thinking like an entrepreneur.
I found a new company that had not worked out its marketing strategy and was still in the early phases of starting. This is the best time to align and collaborate with the company and use all the skills you have learnt. Instead of begging for a marketing budget from a company who does not really have the type of budget you want, start thinking and helping them become successful – in other words, be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Enter the Influencer who connects, nurtures and sells, instead of doing seventy percent of the work and giving someone else the close. Suddenly you have entrenched yourself into the company and you will continue earning and they will not need to pay you from the marketing budget, but rather just pay you a commission on the results you produce.
As I mentioned you have the skills, so why not use them effectively. One of the companies we work with is called Mirror Trading International, and let me outline what we do so that you can get an idea of the type of journey you need to create to get the sales done.
We create the marketing content and distribute that on the Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and website we own and run (this should give you an idea of the size of the company we are working with). Effectively we are agents fully representing the company and it is possible to create sub-agencies as long as you have that kind of agreement with the company.
The content we create takes the prospect through a complete journey, starting with awareness about the company, then we answer the questions and form the relationship. Next, we help the person get his investment going by linking him with the company and assisting with questions regarding registration. Once they have joined and invested we receive our commission.
This model is simple and it is scalable. We have another investment company called R.C.O with whom we have a similar agreement, and we will soon be launching a new business related App that will assist in the day to day reporting and complete accounting function of companies.
The real question is how are you best using the skills you have? Never sell yourself and your abilities short. Expand your role as an influencer, and step into the shoes of the salesperson!